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Abandoned by Booklikes

Government drone by day and book lover and geek girl by night!

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Come Along and Walk With Me

Mystery Walk - Robert R. McCammon

Well this was really good! I was pleasantly surprised since I have only really loved one of McCammon's books, "Boy's LIfe." "Mystery Walk" brought back some of that feeling of magical realism along with horror that I liked in the previous book. We also get introduced to some pretty epic characters (Billy Creekmore and his mother) and I ended up wanting to read more about Billy after the conclusion of the book. 


"Mystery Walk" begins with a pregnant Ramona Creekmore who has a gift. She can see the dead that have not peacefully passed on and she can set them free. Her husband John is a God fearing man (more on that later) who hates that Ramona is different. He believes her gift is a sin. When the book follows them years later after Ramona has given birth, they have their son Billy who they both love. Billy though appears to have taken on his mother and grandmother's gift and John is even more upset that his family appears to be "walking" with the devil. The book also follows Wayne Falconer and his father. Wayne's father is a tent revivalist and he claims his son can heal people. Something in Wayne allows him to feel things in certain people, but he really wants to do good and heal. However, something darker seems to have gotten a hold of him.


Billy and Ramona were the highlights of the book for me. I despised John Creekmore. A man using the Bible to incite terror in his son and wife and then also use the robes of the Klan to inspire fear in others was not someone that I sympathized with at all. I understood though why Billy and Ramona loved him though I puzzled at Ramona. Ramona is a Choctaw Indian and I don't get how her race wasn't seen as a deterrent to John though he had a lot of words to say about African Americans and how the world was going to end soon. 


Billy wants to be what his father wants him to be, but his mother's blood calls out for him to do what she does, to help those who have a hard time letting go of life pass on. The first time this happens to Billy gave me shades of "Boy's Life" and I shuddered a lot. I think at times though that Billy's character was quite naive. He wants to be like everyone else, but his mother and his own actions have made it hard for him to blend into the small town. When Billy realizes he has to move on (first to a carnival and then to an institute which can study him) he realizes he is going to get to see more than he could ever thought possible.

I felt sorry for Wayne and honestly disliked his sections. I went back and re-read though when we get a reveal I didn't see coming. Everything made sense at that point and I realized I hadn't picked up on anything. That said, I didn't feel sorry for Wayne. His whole character is just a hot mess and when we finally get to him and Billy meeting again I wondered at how it would go.


Most of the setting of the book takes place in a small town in Alabama. You get a sense of the town and the secrets it holds. Also for the ugliness at times when you get into how the Klu Klux Klan was running around and beating up and abusing anyone that didn't fit. The storyline following the preacher was horrific. I wish that McCammon had followed up on him. 

The book also shows Billy working at a carnival and I really enjoyed that whole setting. It was interesting and it reminded me a bit of Stephen King's "Joyland." When things moved to Billy at the institute I just found myself getting a bit bored. 


I will say the ending read as a bit off to me. I don't know. Maybe because I wanted some epic final battle or something that I felt a bit letdown by it. And though I was happy with how things are left with Billy, I did want to follow him a bit father along his mystery walk.